A railway upkeep employee whose truck rolled onto the tracks and sparked Taiwan’s worst prepare catastrophe in latest a long time made a tearful apology on Sunday, saying he would cooperate with investigators.
At least 50 individuals had been killed and greater than 200 had been injured in Friday’s crash, which despatched a packed eight-car prepare hurtling into the perimeters of a slender tunnel close to the japanese coastal metropolis of Hualien.
Investigators say the Taroko Express hit a truck on the road moments earlier than it entered the tunnel.
The car slipped down a steep embankment and prosecutors are engaged on whether or not the driving force both did not safe the parking brake, or the brake suffered a mechanical failure.
On Sunday, the driving force Lee Yi-hsiang learn out an emotional assertion to a financial institution of media cameras.
“I am deeply remorseful and want to express my most sincere apologies,” he mentioned, his voice cracking with emotion.
“I will cooperate with the investigation by police and prosecutors to take the responsibility I should take,” he added.
Lee, 49, was a part of a workforce who usually inspected Taiwan’s mountainous japanese prepare line for landslides and different dangers.
He was questioned over the weekend by prosecutors and launched on bail by a court docket pending additional enquires.
As questions mounted over how packed the prepare was and why there weren’t fences on that part of the monitor, transport minister Lin Chia-lung supplied his resignation on Sunday.
But it was not accepted by the federal government who mentioned he ought to stay in place till the outcomes of the investigation are recognized.
– Emotional prayers –
Survivors reported that the prepare driver was honking his horn shortly earlier than the crash however didn’t — or was unable to — decelerate earlier than placing the truck.
The United Daily News newspaper ran a report on Sunday primarily based on preliminary evaluation from footage of the prepare recorder that confirmed the truck was on the road earlier than the prepare went into the tunnel and no slowdown earlier than affect.
The crash has plunged Taiwan into mourning. Some suvivors misplaced total households and the youngest sufferer was simply 4.
A French nationwide and two Americans had been additionally confirmed killed.
On Saturday round 100 family held an emotional Taoist prayer ceremony close to the crash website.
Shaded underneath a cover of black umbrellas they wept brazenly, calling for his or her family members to “come home”.
Friday’s crash happened initially of the Tomb Sweeping Festival, a four-day public vacation when many Taiwanese return to villages to tidy the graves of their ancestors.
Taiwan’s japanese railway line, a preferred vacationer draw, winds its manner by means of towering mountains and dramatic gorges earlier than getting into the picturesque Huadong Valley.
The final main prepare derailment in Taiwan was in 2018 and left 18 individuals useless on the identical japanese line.
Taiwan’s most dangerous rail catastrophe on report was in 1948 when a prepare caught fireplace and 64 individuals perished.
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